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Alvah N. Belding Memorial Library

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1917–1918, Frank P. Allen and Sons; 2006 restoration and expansion, SmithGroup. 302 E. Main St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

This ponderous Beaux-Arts classical library is not unlike a mausoleum. It was Alvah N. Belding's gift to the city in memory of his parents, Hiram and Mary Wilson Belding. Above a raised penciled foundation, large, multipaned round-arched windows are arranged symmetrically around a projecting pedimented entrance portico supported by heavy square piers and two Ionic columns in antis. The smooth, white Indiana limestone exterior adds to its memorial character. A modillioned cornice reinforces the dominant horizontality. Green tile covers the roof. The interior is rich and profuse—Georgia marble lines the lobby, Vermont Verde Antique marble trim is used in the rooms, and the woodwork is of oak and cypress. The library was designed by Allen (1856–1933?) of Grand Rapids, who published Artistic Dwellings (1891).

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Alvah N. Belding Memorial Library", [Belding, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 267-267.

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